VZ Navigator by Verizon Wireless review

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It may be hard to believe, but Verizon’s VZ Navigator app (get it here) is now 7 years old. Initially launched back in January 2006, the first phone to make use of VZ Navigator was the Motorola V325. Even though this was back before smartphones and 4G LTE, VZ Navigator was able to provide basic mapping and GPS turn-by-turn directions on feature phones. Today, VZ Navigator is available on all major smartphone platforms, including Android, iOS, WP and BlackBerry.


The key to VZ Navigator’s success is its simplistic design. When launching the app, you are presented with its main screen that has a carousel view in the center which displays information about roadside assistance, local weather, gas prices, movies, tips, concert events, and live events.

But say you are looking for a local Publix Supermarket, you can simply type in “Publix” in the search field at the top of the screen, or press the Mic icon and say “Publix”. This will then do a search and display all local results with “Publix” in the name. When you select one, it will show the address and phone number (which you can call), or if you press the green Go icon, it will navigate a route to the destination based on your current location.

Also located on the main screen is a Go To and Map icon. The Go To feature will not only allow you to view places that you’ve searched for in the past, but it can also list local restaurants and bars, gas stations, lodging, shopping, emergency, entertainment and recreations, banks and ATMs, airports, public offices, travel and tourism, personal services, automotive, movies and events, and (naturally) Verizon Wireless stores. You can also have it save your home and work address, as well as the address of friends and contacts.

Meanwhile, the Map feature shows where you are on a map (no surprise there) and the view can be changed from terrain to satellite, and can show the current traffic conditions. At the bottom of the map is an icon for food that will populate the map with local places to eat, as well as an icon for local gas station and banks/ATMs. If you happen to see a yellow hazard icon with an exclamation mark on the map, you can click on it to view accident information, or if there is road construction in the area.

Navigating around town

Naturally, the main feature of VZ Navigator is the navigation. As we mentioned earlier, you can type or speak the name of your destination, do a search, or even enter the full address.

The screen will display where you are currently located on the road map, with green arrows directing where you should go and for any turns you need to make. Even though this does not have a satellite view while driving, you can change the layout between 3D Perspective, 2D Top View, Dashboard, or just a text list.

At the top of the driving map is shown the next step you need to take, such as “I-95 South”, and at the bottom are indicators for how many miles or feet until your next turn and the estimated time. One feature that is a must, is the voice navigation guidance, so you don’t have to keep looking at the mapping on the screen. Just follow the voice prompts, such as “Step 2. Take the right lane and merge on to I-95 South.”

A few options available for navigation are to create a detour, which will allow a different route than the original one, and to avoid specific roads. You can also select audible Traffic Alerts, or have the program automatically use the traffic information to help determine the best route.

One of the newest features on VZ Navigator is that it can show select cities in 3D, including roads, buildings, and highway signs. This is currently available when traveling in one of 27 cities, but does require extra data to be downloaded.

When we used VZ Navigator, the voice recognition feature proved to be quite useful as it allowed us to search for specific places just by voice. And, aside from some minor misunderstandings (common for all voice recognition software), it managed to understand what we're looking for just fine. We also appreciate the Traffic Alerts, as the program would automatically reroute us if there was an accident or high traffic congestion in an area.

VZ Navigator is a full-featured navigation app for Verizon phones that has a lot to offer. Not only can it get you around town, but it has a pretty good search features as well. The on-screen navigation mapping and voice prompts do a good enough job to help direct where you need to go. You may ask yourselves: “Does VZ Navigator warrant the subscription fee?” Well, with a free 30-day trial, and then $2/month thereafter, we can safely say that VZ Navigator packs quite a punch for the price.

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1. palmguy

Posts: 988; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Anyone went from Sprint to Verizon or vice versa know how well Sprint's Telenav Nav works compared to this? I believe Sprint's is free.

2. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

I used to use this app but over the years I found it pointless to use because of the cost. It really does come down to why pay for a map service through Verizon when I can use the free better service from Google? It even has voice. How can they convince me that this is the better choice?

3. snowgator

Posts: 3624; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

They can't. Along with those that have Nokia Drive or even Bing Maps. The price is right. Mapping service is expected in this day and age of smart phones. Silly to think Verizon still gets users to pay for it.

4. iHateCrapple

Posts: 734; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

I used the app once and it worked well enough...then I got a Droid and knew better! Verizon used to have the gall to charge $9.99 on Droids and $4.99 on iPhones when Google preloads their FREE navigation. They FINALLY wised up about it but still, why bother?

5. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

PA... if these advertorials keep coming, I will be going. Probably, maybe. Okay, I'll probably hang around but I will not click on as many things. Take that! At least give the adverts a brown background so we know we're about to step in some bullcrap.

6. c.hack

Posts: 614; Member since: Dec 09, 2009

Note - this is an advertorial - ITS AN AD PAID FOR BY VERIZON I use Waze on all my my phones. Why would anyone in this day and age pay for on-line nav? They charge you for the service on top of the $$$$ for data. Another ripoff from Verizon.

7. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Carriers should really just make this free for customers. They are outdated concepts aka paying for nav on da phone. Unless you have a feature phone that is. Car companies get away with it cause other nav options aren't built in to the car's hardware. However the free g maps is.

8. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Boy, you guys must be really backed up with reviews if this is just coming out now!

9. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Why pay for this when you can get google maps for free?

10. nnaatthhaannx2

Posts: 820; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

PhoneArena, unless you are getting enough money to have more giveaways, NEVER PUBLISH AN ARTICLE LIKE THIS AGAIN.

11. StringCheese01

Posts: 64; Member since: Jan 27, 2012


12. Obdabeast

Posts: 41; Member since: Jan 01, 2012

you guys are funny. if you did not read the whole article let me explain here where its short and doesn't take much attention span " 7 years old ", " works on basic phone ". Yes google and apples crappy maps along with nokia and all the other free maps are great to use but there are people out there that have basic phones and it works just as good as google maps. I know because I have tested it out and know people who still use it. It doesn't cost much but verizon doesn't have their own brand name phone to sell they gotta make money too. ( and yes they sell service.. which most of you are too cheap and cry about but "it aint trickin if you got it"/ If you got the money its the worth the service. )

13. Obdabeast

Posts: 41; Member since: Jan 01, 2012

And it's a better map service than apples lol

14. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

If you were referring to my comment with "7 years old", I got that, it was sarcasm. Didn't realize I had to spell that out. As far as Verizon not having their own phone to rake in money, they don't need one. Look at their costs for messaging. It's the cheapest service for them to offer & cell providers make a premium on it. The only way it's feasible is if you're on a 5 line family plan. Verizon makes enough profits, offering something like this for free would be beneficial for their customers and help keep them safe. I guarantee you if dialing 911 for free wasn't a federal mandate, Verizon wouldn't be offering it. And this is coming from someone who's been a Verizon customer since 1997. There coverage is great, but that's about all they've got going for them.

18. Obdabeast

Posts: 41; Member since: Jan 01, 2012

Actually I wasn't referring to anyone with the "7 years old " I wrote that incase people missed it as they were reading the article, but thanks for reinforcing that lol. I understand what you mean about vzw but, business is business.

15. ashb22

Posts: 19; Member since: Jun 15, 2012

An advertorial? Really?

16. vincent95

Posts: 17; Member since: May 19, 2012

I don't use it b/c it costs $10 a month and I have Google Maps on my HTC Thunderbolt, so...

17. jpmcnown

Posts: 35; Member since: Jul 03, 2012

I'm still waiting for a trip planner that can calculate fuel fillups/rest stops on long trips, and find the best places to stop along the way. It shouldn't be difficult to tell an app I want to stop for gas every 300 miles, every 5 hours, stops at a ball of twine, etc. Frankly, there should be a way to use an OBD-2 tool to monitor fuel consumption automatically. Trying to find an open gas station in unfamiliar territory at 2am can be dangerous, and damn nerve racking when that fuel light comes on.

19. theo14461 unregistered

I pay enough to greedy Verizon. Why would anyone pay extra for this service?

20. jherz6

Posts: 217; Member since: May 23, 2008

It doesnt matter how great it is Google map is better, its free.

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